Proving A Personal Injury Claim
Learn about the four elements of a personal injury claim
One of the questions we are often asked by potential clients is, “Do I have a good case?”
Well, there is a lot that goes into answering that question, but at a minimum, we must have evidence to prove each of the four elements of a personal injury claim:
- breach of the duty
If your case does not have all four of these elements, it will not be successful.
The duty is the legal duty owed by a person to others.
In most cases, a person owes a duty to others to exercise “ordinary care.” A driver of a car owes a duty to other drivers on the expressway to exercise ordinary care in driving his car in a safe manner.
Similarly, a landowner owes a duty of ordinary care to keep his property safe to those he invites onto his land.
In medical malpractice cases, doctors have a duty to exercise that degree of skill and care which under similar conditions and circumstances if ordinarily employed by other doctors in the medical profession. That is their duty of care.
Breach of the duty
Once you’ve established that there is a legal duty, you must prove a violation of that duty.
So, going back to our car driver, if he fails to operate his vehicle safely because he’s not paying attention and crosses his lane hitting another vehicle, he’s now breached his duty of care.
The next element is causation.
It is not enough to show that there is a legal duty and that the duty is breached. You must also show that the breach caused you damages.
If you fall in a grocery store but the fall is caused not by a hazardous condition in the store but because you were not paying attention and walked into a shelf, knocking yourself backward, you will likely not be able to show that the grocery store owner caused your injury.
Finally, there must be damages. Just because someone breaches their duty, it doesn’t mean you can recover if you did not suffer damages. Those damages can be economic or non-economic, but they must exist and must be proven by evidence.
Determining whether you have each of these elements and that you can prove them with admissible evidence is necessary for a successful claim. There are also many other factors that go into having a “good case” but this is where you start.
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, the Atlanta injury attorneys at the Pérez Law firm can help you recover compensation. Contact us today for a free and confidential case consultation.